Looking Closer At Rakeback

Written by Carl “The Dean” Sampson

Do poker players actually gain from attaining rakeback? Well that is a very interesting
question because on the surface then it seems like they do. However it does bring up
the question of why poker sites offered rakeback in the first place. Clearly it was a tactic
to induce more players into the game and to keep the ones that they already had by
recirculating a percentage of the rake that they took.

If you made $1000 in a month in rakeback then would this be a good result? Well it isn’t
easy to answer that question in a short way but good winning players will clearly make more
money because of rakeback. The problem is though that good winning players are in the
minority these days and this means that the overwhelming majority of players who play
online poker are losing money.

I would ascertain that this figure is as high as 90% and probably 95%. So it is clear then that
a large percentage of these players will be getting rakeback and so in these instances then
rakeback isn’t making these players winners. All it is doing is allowing them to get some of
their losses back essentially to keep on losing and to provide liquidity for the site. It also
allows the grinders to have action as well as if the fish leave then the grinders have no game
and they will either lock horns with each other (and eventually leave) or leave immediately
because they are aware of a lack of value.

It is certainly in the interests of all online poker players to design a way of playing that
minimises the effect of paying rake. Whether this is negotiating a deal with a site or trying
to become a sponsored player or whatever…….the players who stand the best chance of
winning over the long term in online poker are the ones who can play with lower overheads.
The most successful players in online poker are not necessarily the best poker players but
this all comes down to how you view what a “successful” or “good” poker player is and what
they should be doing.

Carl “The Dean” Sampson plays poker at www.pokerstars.co.uk

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